Round 22 – Fremantle v Richmond: Posting the ton


How important is a 100 point win?


When you’re so far in front, does it really matter that you grind your opponent into the dirt to get to that three figure margin?


As the last seconds played out at Domain Stadium on Sunday and the Dockers managed to gift Richmond a couple of late goals to concede defeat by 104 points, these were the questions swirling in my mind.


To put it in perspective, it’s a rare conundrum for Richmond supporters to ponder, as it’s an experience we’ve only had six times since our 1980 Premiership, including this match.  The other five comprise: two against the fledgling GWS in 2013 and 2014; one against Fitzroy on its 1996 deathbed; another against Fitzroy as they imploded at the end of the 1988 season; and, one against St Kilda early in 1985 in a sequence of three consecutive hundred point losses by the hapless Saints. In truth, none of those results could be said to mean much.


But Fremantle is surely a better side than any of the above. Admittedly they have had a few big beltings this year, but they’ve won 8 games and the way they started the game seemed to signify some resolve to send off their old home ground in style. To have stared down Freo’s early pressure and responded as well as Richmond did must surely count for something. And to have finally finished off a side mercilessly seemed like a very blunt statement to the teams chasing the Tigers for fourth spot.


I think this is the nub of the argument for the affirmative. The best sides finish off their opposition. The scoring patterns in our game make the 100 point margin psychologically and physically hard to achieve and, therefore, rare. It requires both a high level of talent and hunger to push on to this margin when the game is long since over. In contrast with the six 100 point wins Richmond have scored in 37 seasons since 1980, we achieved four in that Premiership year alone. That was one talented, hungry team. These days, the Tigers have been so glad of any big wins that they tend to enter celebration mode early rather than punching out a huge margin. One could have forgiven them for doing so again on Sunday, but they didn’t.


Of course, the case for the negative is that only the poorest of opponents or those severely lacking in spirit allow themselves to lose by 100 points. Again, a glance at Richmond’s own egregious record in this regard shows a deplorable 19 century defeats since 1980. Sure, plenty of these losses were to top teams but quite a lot weren’t. Scattered fairly evenly from 1984 to that horrible loss in Sydney at the end of 2016, they are a damning testimony to our wretched history since the early 80s.


Given that this was their second consecutive loss of this size, the Dockers certainly have to be seriously questioned. Were the Tigers simply playing a team that has given up for the year? They bore little resemblance to the side that edged us at the MCG in May.


Ultimately, no serious Richmond supporter will want to stray too far from the old clichés of “glad to get the four points” and “take it one week at a time.” Especially with so much weighing on our one remaining game before the finals. But the Tiger army has experienced this rare result just six times in their last 829 outings. It’s worth savouring for a couple of days, surely?


About Sam Steele

50 years a Richmond supporter. Enjoying a bounteous time after 37 years of drought. Should've been a farmer!


  1. Never mind the 100 point win Stainless. Just kicking the tone has been an effort for The Striped Marvels this season.

    And while I’ve got you there — and without taking it any more than one week at a time — this Tiger Outfit is a lot more potent than many in The Football Universe are giving them credit for.

    Eat ’em alive Tigers, and spit out the bones.

  2. this was brilliant. for once it was the 9yo being the pessimist, but she was down on sleep. she headed to an early night at quarter time, I managed to give her the 8 goals to 0 second quarter update as she got the final goodnight kiss.

    it reminded me of the famous day against the Sts at the SCG in 1980, where we won by gazillions despite being behind at QT. like that day, everything we touched turned to gold. and, other than Grigg, we couldn’t miss!

    we have played as well or better this year – the first quarters against the Crows and the Swans, the final quarter against the Dockers at the G, the quick burst that transformed Port to dust.

    but to keep it up for 3 and a bit quarters. to be ruthless. to finish them off, to give ourselves a chance to jump the Giants should they lose -this was all great stuff.

    and to do it while still searching for timbre, Townsend as a rich man’s Caddy, Rance the new swingman, only one ruck on the big deck,, this was all supremely important, for next year as well as this.

    now we have to keep the lid on it. that’s been the big issue before, and we will be tired, we ran it out and then had to fly. and the Saints will be up, at least for a bit.

    i can remember all those sickening rd 22 capitulations, the Cats in 94 with Swooper’s bizarre Richo in the ruck at the first bounce moment, the 9 goals Nth kicked in the final quarter in 96, the gutless “effort” against the Dees in 98 and the thumping by the Blues in 2000.

    Each is seared in the memory. We are owed. This is our time. In Cotch, Jack, Dust and Rance, I see resolve. I see it in Vlastuin, Astbury and Grimes, each immense this year. I see it in Nank the tank.

    In the words of the Bard, GO TIGES!

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